The largest engineering ﬁrms today earn more than 50 percent of their income from international projects, which is why global awareness and cultural ﬂuency are critical to future engineers.
A comprehensive global strategy is a top priority for the college's Engineering 2020 strategic plan, but work is already happening in individual departments, classrooms and dorm rooms.
The Global Engineering Residential Academic Program (RAP) is the newest living and learning option for ﬁrst-year undergraduates at CU-Boulder. Located at the new Kittredge Central residence hall, just minutes on foot or bike from the Engineering Center, the Global Engineering RAP is more than just a cohort of students who geek out on science and math. Its mission is to provide a community for engineering students who want to practice and improve their foreign language skills while focusing on global engineering projects and IT-driven intercultural communication.
Launched in fall 2013, the Global Engineering RAP has enrolled 57 engineering undergraduate students, 52 of whom are freshmen.
The college's ﬁrst-year and graduating senior surveys indicate that students are very interested in global engineering as a growth ﬁeld, and highly motivated to focus on it as an area of crucial personal development.
"Our goal is to graduate globally competent engineers who can work across cultures and design innovative products and processes appropriate to local communities around the world," says Karey Sabol, the college's new director of international programs.
This goal includes signiﬁcantly increasing the number of international students from a wide range of countries studying at CU-Boulder; designing new and improved opportunities for students to study, research and intern abroad; developing comprehensive international partnerships; and ensuring that all students have plenty of opportunities to work in multicultural teams and to study world economies, cultures and languages.
The Global Engineering RAP gives students the opportunity to integrate their humanities and social sciences course work into their engineering studies. It also enables them to bring a clearly differentiated communications skill set beyond just technical skills to their internships and job interviews.